Development in Issaquah Highlands

Residential Projects

Westridge:

Westridge is a large residential development by Polygon Homes NW. It began with Westridge South in 2016. Construction will continue over the next few years. Polygon announced in January 2019 they will discontinue building new homes until home sales pick up.

Westridge South:

As of January 2019

  • 72 single family homes
  • Homes range from 3,200 to 3,550 square feet
  • Three configurations: 2-story, 2-story with daylight basement, and 3-story with “tuck under” garages
  • Prices start at $945K
  • Sales office is located on Discovery Drive
  • Many homes are occupied while the neighborhood is under construction
  • New trail around the perimeter of the property will replace the pond trail

View all updates related to Polygon Homes >

Westridge North:

As of March 2019

TOWNHOMES – SOUTH

  • 109 townhomes under construction
  • Prices start at $690K
  • Neighborhood park will include a small splash park

TOWNHOMES – NORTH

  • 112 townhomes, future phase date TBD
  • Ten of these townhomes will be “affordable” (income-qualified)
  • Will include community garden patches

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES NORTH

CONDOS – AFFORDABLE HOUSING BLOCK

  • 38 stacked flats, all “affordable”
  • Plus One Life Enrichment Options (LEO) group home

View all news updates related to Polygon Homes >

Block 19 Alexan Apartments:

As of March 2019

  • Site work begins January 7, 2019
  • Excavation largely done for structural foundation, parking garage
  • Crane moved into place late March 2019 for pouring concrete
  • 135 Apartment Units
  • Received land use permit; Building permits are under review
  • Vested with IHDA, IHCA Builder ARC
  • 5 stories on the east side
  • Two additional lower floors for townhomes, parking on west side
  • East facing includes a courtyard
  • Outdoor pool located on the 3rd floor
  • New community trail will connect WSDOT Pond trail to 10th Ave. NE
  • Roof top deck for residents
  • Completion planned for end of 2020

Parcel D Single Family Homes:

As of February 2019

  • 10 single family homes on 1.12 Acres
  • Polygon Homes submitted a preliminary plat in 2018 which shows unit locations, lot lines, roads, trails, public spaces, etc.
  • Includes a public overlook with views to the west.
  • The Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC) conducted a Public Hearing December 18, 2018 and recommended the City Council approve the application.
  • Issaquah City Council Land and Shore committee reviewed the application on February 7, 2019 and recommended approval. The full council approved the application on February 19, 2019.

View  all updates related to Polygon Homes >

Harrison Street and Grand Ridge Drive:

As of January 2019

Construction in the Harrison Streets and Grand Ridge Drive neighborhoods is managed through the Issaquah Highlands Custom ARC.

Number of homes under review or active construction:

  • Harrison – 9
  • Grand Ridge Drive – 14

Number of remaining empty lots:

  • Harrison – 1
  • Grand Ridge drive – 7

Parks and Trails

Bike Skills Park and Challenge Trail

The City is partnering with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to bring this long-awaited amenity to Central Park. Evergreen is renowned for their design expertise and for supporting the mountain bike community. They are the main partner at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park.

In 2018, three concepts for the Central Park skills park were presented to the community in an online survey and at a public meeting at Blakely Hall. Both efforts generated valuable input and feedback that was used to create a preliminary design for the bike park, a “hybrid” of the three concepts.

Construction is planned for 2020.  If you are interested in being on the bike park communications list, please email Jennifer Fink at JenniferF@issaquahwa.gov .

Neighborhood Parks and Trail

Late in 2018 the new trail around Westridge South opened to the public. Access is at the SW corner of Swedish Hospital property, or at the driving entrance to Westridge South. In places a forest path and in others paved like a sidewalk, stairs and curves create a delightful, shaded pathway.

The Alexan apartments (Block 19) will include a public path connecting Sunset Pond with 10th Ave NE and the pocket park north of Marshall’s.

By 2020 expect to see the Westridge neighborhood parks completed, one with a small splash park and another with more community garden patches.

Throughout Westridge new pedestrian trails will be created, especially for east-west travel. Traversing these you will be able to connect to the now open Westridge South forest edge trail and the future High Street Linear Park.

High Street Linear Park

High Street Linear Park was approved by the City Council in July 2018. The park will be built by Polygon Homes NW and will convert a portion of High Street into a multi-use trail for non-motorized travel. Amenities and recreation will be placed along its quarter-mile length. The park will be approximately 31,000 square feet total.

In November and December 2018, the City and Polygon surveyed the community about potential amenities for the park. Stand-out requests include:

  • Seating and gathering areas that take advantage of the views
  • Sheltered seating and gathering areas
  • Play areas for all ages, especially older kids and teens
  • Flexible open spaces of grass or park plazas
  • Table tennis, court games
  • Hillside climbing
  • Telescopes
  • Water feature for all ages

Although an off-leash dog area was desired, careful consideration must be taken to determine true suitability of this location.

Almost 90% of respondents were IH residents

2019 Project Timeline:

Q1 2019: High Street closes as soon as the western extension of Ellis Drive opens providing access to West Highlands Park. Site development in preparation for the park begins.

The Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC) is scheduled to review preliminary designs on March 26, 2019. Watch for details here>>>.

Central Park Pad 1 Opened on Saturday, March 17, 2018

Central Park Pad #1 was rebuilt in 2017-18 with updated sports fields with synthetic turf, drainage, fencing and LED field lights, path lights and scoreboard. New roofs were installed over the dugouts. A temporary parking lot opened by the water reservoir, new lights and walkways were installed to help parking lot users.

A second picnic shelter was installed (which can be reserved through the City of Issaquah), and a new mound area with seat walls now provide community viewing for the sports fields.

The park will also feature unique public art by artist, Lydia Aldredge, commissioned by the City of Issaquah’s Arts Commission.

To mitigate increased traffic, Central Park fields will run at 75% capacity until a new traffic light is installed in future at the intersection of Park Drive and Central Park Lane.

City of Issaquah held a ribbon cutting on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

See all updates related to Central Park >

Commercial | Retail | Institutional Projects

School Siting | Follow up:

As of January 2019

In 2018 Issaquah School District (ISD) considered a property on the western border of Issaquah Highlands, west of Swedish Hospital, for a new elementary school. After thorough site analysis (including geotech and arborist studies), ISD decided not to pursue the property for a school.

In June, ISD announced they would be building a new elementary school on what’s referred to as the Volpe property on Issaquah Pine Lake Road, approximately 2 miles from Issaquah Highlands.

To wrap the year up, ISD purchased land in Talus for its sixth middle school and will retain the property in downtown Issaquah (current Administration Center) for future use.

The Issaquah School District posted an update on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

This update covers the topics explained in the blog post reporting on the School Board meeting of April 25, 2018.

See all updates related to Issaquah School District >

Shelter Holdings | IHIF-C:

As of January 2019

Shelter Holdings (through their affiliate IHIF Commercial, LLC) continues to pursue their plans to develop the 21.5 acres, undeveloped L-shaped property (formerly owned by Microsoft) located west along 9th Ave. NE and Discovery Drive. They are allowed to develop up to 1.8 million square feet of commercial/retail space, plus three residential units.

However, Shelter Holdings applications for three site development permits are in dispute with the City. These applications were submitted to the Development Commission in September 2018 for review and public comment. This review has continued over several months. The next two meetings are scheduled for February 5 and 6. Further information was not available in time for this publication.

Shelter Holdings Applications, Lot by Lot:

  • 111,000 square feet of retail development
  • 143,000 square foot office building with ground floor retail
  • 92,000 square foot medical office building, with ground floor retail or commercial uses
  • 105,000 square foot self-storage facility

See all updates related to Shelter Holdings >

Block 20 Hotel or City Surf:

As of January 2019

This property is directly behind Marshall’s/Dick’s Sporting Goods where City Surf had hoped to develop a indoor surf facility. Although plans are not imminent, CitySurf got a three-year extension on their site development permit. The property is owned by Sycan Corporation / InnSight Hotel Management Group.

Bellevue College:

As of January 2019

Bellevue College owns approximately 20 acres along the south side of College Drive. No action has been taken on a 425,000 square foot campus approved by the city in 2014. The City of Issaquah Mayor recently met with the Bellevue College President to discuss the Issaquah campus. There have been no announcements. Alternatively, 310 homes could be built on this property if not the college.

See all updates related to Bellevue College >

Swedish Hospital:

As of January 2019

Swedish has a development agreement with the City to double the size of the current facility, which could extend north of Blakely Drive. Although there are no definite plans at this time, Swedish representatives plan to begin quarterly meetings with the City of Issaquah in 2019 to work together on a development plan.

Grand Ridge Plaza, Block 5:

As of June 2018

  • Tenants open at High Street and 9th Ave NE (Grand Ridge Plaza’s final building under current permitting)
    • Orangetheory Fitness and Habit Burger celebrated grand openings in June 2018
  • These new tenants take up 5,325 square feet of retail space

See all updates related to Grand Ridge Plaza >

Recent Development News

Public Speaks on Commercial / Retail Proposal in Issaquah Highlands

By | Development News
Issaquah Highlands is not done growing yet! Issaquah Highlands has over 2.8M square feet of additional development zoned for commercial/institution. A few of the largest potential land developments are still in planning stages, including a plan for future development is from Shelter Holdings, the owners of the property along 9th...
Read More

2017 Issaquah Highlands Development Stats

Land Use Overall

Total acreage: 2200 acres

Groundbreaking 2017-18

Total new homes expected: 438

Commercial, Retail and Institutional Development

Total entitled: 3,692,200 square feet

Helpful Development Terms

Affordable Housing (distinct from low income housing):

As governed by the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement (DA), 30% of residential development shall be “affordable housing”. The DA further defines “affordable” as that which is calculated as affordable to those earning 80, 100 and 120% of the King County median income. (Currently, the King County household median income is $73,000.)

Audience Comments:

An opportunity to speak publicly, addressing a body such as the City Council, on a topic that is not scheduled for a Public Hearing at that meeting. City Council provides this opportunity at the beginning of each meeting. The UVDC and City Council committees also welcome audience comments. (See specific agendas on the City website.)

Commercial Uses Include:

Office, Hotel, Restaurants, Fitness, Entertainment, Warehousing/Storage, Light Manufacturing, etc.

Development Agreement (DA):

An agreement (contract) between a land owner and a jurisdiction, such as a city, that determines how a property will be developed. The agreement has a term (i.e. 20 years) and “runs” with the land, if sold. The Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement was signed in 1996.

End of DAs:

A casual reference to the end of buildout period of the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement (DA), and the agreement’s termination. Even though undeveloped properties remain in the Highlands, the City or the Master Developer can choose to terminate the DA at the end of the buildout period, which occurs in 2017.

See all updates related to the end of the Development Agreement >

Entitlement: 

Amount of residential, commercial or institutional development allowed by a contract such as a Development Agreement.

Institutional Uses Include:

Schools, Churches, Cultural Facilities, etc.

Moratorium:

In September 2016, the City of Issaquah enacted a six-month moratorium on certain types of development. There are many exceptions. Notable to Issaquah Highlands is that all land governed by Development Agreements is excluded. In February 2017 the City Council extended this moratorium to September 6, 2017.

Public Hearing:

A scheduled opportunity to speak on the record on a specific topic. The Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC) and City Council both hold Public Hearings. Public notice of a hearing will be provided at least 10 days in advance. Sign up on the City’s website, “Notify Me” to receive email notices of Public Hearings.

Retail Uses Include:

Stores and Shops, Grocery Stores, Banks, Winery/Brewery, etc.

Site Development Permit (SDP):

When a development is large or complicated the Site Development Permit application process is used, which includes a Public Hearing.

Transfer of Development Rights (TDR):

Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) is a voluntary, incentive- based program that allows landowners to sell development rights from their land to a developer or other interested party who then can use these rights to increase the density of development at another designated location.

Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC):

A commission serving by appointment of the Mayor to review and approve (or recommend to approve) applications to develop land in the city’s Urban Villages, such as Issaquah Highlands.